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Difficulty II-III
Length 7.8 Miles
Gauge Kennebec River at The Forks, Maine
Flow Range 2400 - 20000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 18 minutes ago 3320 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 02/23/2007 9:50 pm

River Description

Often run as a continuation of the upper Gorge run of the Kennebec especially for larger water craft such as rafts. The put in is down a long steep staircase to the waters edge at Carry Brook. The river from this point down is generally class II and quickwater. The biggest rapid (Big Black Brook Rapid) comes shortly after the put in. Each rapid thereafter is easier to negotiate. Take out just before the bridge at the Forks on either the right or left banks. The river right takeout by the Ball field is easier.

Technical info

Put in elevation........706'
Take out elevation......574'
Total drop..............132'
Average drop/mile.......17'
Distance................7.8 miles 
River width average.....50'
River geology...........Slate ledge 
River water quality.....Good, clarity good.
Scenery.................Excellent, isolated wilderness river  
Wildlife................Deer, moose, osprey, eagles. 

Rapid Descriptions

Map of the Forks Maine

Class - Mile - 0

Map Key

Class - Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
1. 1. Webb’s Dead River Campground & Shuttle Service: Shuttles to the Dead put in, campground with showers. For shuttle service call (207) 663-2114 and ask for Karen. To book a site at Webb's campground call River Drivers to make the reservations. That phone number is: 207-663-4475. The cost is $5.00 per person, per night, plus 7% State tax.
2. Appleton’s restaurant: Pizza, subs, ice cream, breakfast.
3. River Drivers: Rafting, etc.
4. Paddling shop: Dead River Outfitters
5. Berry’s General Store: Gas, Beer, food, supplies, pizza, subs
6. The Ball field campground: Primitive campsites, porta-poties, no showers. Take out for Lower Kennebec.
7. Crab Apple Camping Rafting, hot tub, bar, food.
8. Public Picnic area: also used as Lower Kennebec take out.
9. The Marshall Hotel (Hotel Cocktails): Food, bar, horse shoes, pool table.
10. Dead River takeout.
11. Majic Falls Rafting: Raft trips, camping
12. Three Rivers Whitewater & Kelly Brook campground
13. Northern Outdoors Camping, Rafting, restaurant, hot tub, bar, entertainment
14. North Country Rivers Rafting, etc.
15. Professional River Runners: Rafting, etc.
16. New England Outdoor Center: Rafting, Paddling shop, etc.
17. Indian Pond campground
Not on map:
Moxie Gore cabins: : $30 per night
Moxie Outdoor Outfitters: 866-663-2646 Large cabins $75 per night

Big Black Brook Rapid

Class - III Mile - 0.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
This is the biggest rapid on this section. The route is easily boat scouted. Waves can be large at 4800 cfs release levels and huge at 6000+ cfs.


Gage Descriptions

The flow in this section is controlled by Harris Dam, a hydro facility located 4 miles upstream from the put in. It takes approximately 1 hour for the release to reach Carry Brook. Call Central Maine Power Company at 207-672-4848 for release information. Use the gauge as reference only. This gives a good indication of recent daily release levels.

The Kennebec is a dam controlled river. An agreement worked out between the rafting, boating, and power company has guaranteed water on weekends. Normally you can expect 4800 cfs from 10 am until 2 pm but that can change depending on conditions. At times of drought the flows will remain at 4800 cfs but the release times can be cut back 2 hours (10am to 12 pm). Early in the season (May) flows may be higher (6000 cfs) and for longer durations.

In addition to the daily flows stated above a new settlement agreement between FPL and American Whitewater goes into effect this year. There will be four 8,000 cfs release scheduled along with several 2400 cfs releases. (See below for dates). 8000 cfs releases increase the overall difficulty to class IV+. 2400 cfs releases makes for a more technical run.

From May 1st through Columbus day in October, the daily release will be a minimum of 4800 cfs, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

From June 15th through September 15th, 1pm to 3 pm minimum release will be 2400 cfs.

Between June 15th and September 15th in consultation with AW, AMC, & NEFLOW there will be four Sunday releases at a minimum of 2400 cfs during the hours of 1pm and 3pm.

In consultation with all interested parties there will be four releases of 8000 cfs provided each rafting season during the hours of 10 am and 1 pm.

For the latest flow information call (800) 557-3569 Dial 5 for Kennebec.

2007 Kennebec Settlement Flows



Flow Date Time Flow
Sat., June 16th 10am to 1pm 8000 cfs Sun., Aug. 5th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
Sat., June 23rd 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs Sat., Aug. 11th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
Sat., June 30th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs Sat., Aug. 18th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
Sat., July 7th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs Sun., Aug. 19th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
Mon., July 9th 10am to 1pm 8000 cfs Sat., Aug. 25th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
Sat., July 14th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs Sat., Sept. 1st 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
Sun., July 15th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs Sun., Sept. 2nd 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
Sat., July 21st 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs Sat., Sept. 8th 10am to 1pm 8000 cfs
1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs
Sat., July 28th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs Sat., Sept. 22nd 10am to 1pm 8000 cfs
Sat., Aug. 4th 1pm to 3 pm 2400 cfs

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



article main photo

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

Robert Nasdor

A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy. 

article main photo


Nick Lipowski


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190604 02/23/07 n/a n/a